This miracle squash is so easy to grow, you can easily end up with a bumper crop. In fact, in some areas it’s seasonal sport to “drop-off” excessive amounts onto the back porch of strangers. But don’t let it go to waste—zucchini has lots of vitamin A, few calories, and it’s simple to cook. Though we cook and serve zucchini as a vegetable, botanically these squashes are an immature fruit!
Zucchini, Cucurbita pepo, is a member of the cucumber, pumpkin and melon family. What they all have in common is a relatively smooth skin and a wall of flesh surrounding a center of seeds. Inhabitants of Central and South America have been eating zucchini for several thousand years. However, the zucchini we consume today in the U,S. is a variety developed in Italy.
Zucchini is rich in vitamins C, B6, B29, potassium and manganese. It has a high water content and is low in calories.
Smaller, younger zucchini have more flavor. Look for firm, heavy-feeling zucchini with unblemished bright and glossy skins. Store, unwashed, until ready to use for up to seven days. Remove ends and slice. Zucchini flowers are also served stuffed and fried in a tempura batter.
With the use of a Spiral Slicer you can conjure up endless julienne strips of carrot, radish, cucumber and all kinds of other firm vegetables. The 2x 3mm or 3.5 x 5mm sprals are perfect to create vegetable stir fry and pasta dishes. They make great garnishes, as well:
- Steaming is better than boiling
- Zucchini bread
- Fried zucchini blossoms
- Raw a crudités with dips
- Grated as a garnish
- Soups and stews
Foodsites with zucchini recipes: